By Ray Cardello –
I cannot speak for most people, but the time we have shared navigating through a modern-day pandemic has given me a tremendous opportunity to reflect on many aspects of life. Personally, professionally and as a society, we have experienced changes in our lives that were not planned but thrust upon us. Much has been mandated to us by authorities. Local, state, federal, and of course, the CDC have all taken turns inflicting changes, no, let’s call them what they are, restrictions, on our lives. We have witnessed people making decisions for the masses, but they were simply drunk on their newfound power.
An example would be our community enacting a mask mandate before the state or feds did, and then when the state retracted their mandate, the community leaders flexed their muscles and said no, not yet. No scientific basis, but they must love seeing the electronic signs at the town line flashing their words of wisdom. It is sad to think of the thousands who are still shielding their faces to appease a handful of people stroking their egos by keeping us on a leash.
All of us have made sacrifices but at different levels. Some have still traveled, while others have yet to leave their homes. Some have still met with relatives or close friends while others remained isolated. Reasons for that may be age, health, fear, or the source of their information. The last being a considerable element. A person depending on FOX would have a different perception than someone who watched MSNBC. Unfortunately, this is due to news being more opinion than fact in today’s world. I believe in people making their own decisions based on their circumstances rather than a blanket mandate for all. As long as we all had mutual respect for each other’s choices, we were okay.
We are beginning to regain our freedoms and liberties, but the last year has given us a perspective on what is truly important. Not being able to spend time with family and friends has undoubtedly taken an emotional toll. Being unable to worship as a community has been devastating to many of my friends and may have been the cruelest of restrictions imposed on us. Not being able to dine at our favorite restaurants has shown us how much we can enjoy cooking meals together at home. Cheaper, healthier, and something that has brought us together. Restrictions on foreign travel have opened up a new love and interest in visiting our own land.
There are many more examples, and I am sure we all have our own lists. The important take-away is that we have been allowed to hit the reset button and decide what is and is not essential to include in our future. This is something we may have never done if not forced on us so let us take advantage of the opportunity to reshape our lives. What we cannot allow is for someone in the government to make these decisions for us. The Pandemic will be behind us at some point, and also behind us should be any government-imposed restriction of our rights. We all made the sacrifices that felt necessary, but that is done. We want our rights and liberties back, and anything less is unacceptable, and that should be regardless of your political leanings.
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